Spring Break day 6 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Grotto Falls and Brushy Mountain
Brushy Mountain - Smoky Mountains Natl. Park - TN Travel Blog› entry 806 of 1090 › view all entries
Another day in the Smokies! Siglinde joined me once again for another hike to the Grotto Falls and Brushy Mountain. In order to get there we had to briefly go through Gatlinburg, the closest village to the park. We were both simply shocked about the huge tourist trap content this village has to offer. Horrible!
But as soon as we crossed the protective borders back into the park we felt the rest and quietness of the Smokies again. Our trailhead was located along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a one-way road the takes cars deep into the wild forest and along some nice waterfalls and abandoned farm structures. It looked so crowded that we parked at the first parking spot that we could find. This turned out to be 2.5 km (1.6 miles) away from the trailhead, treating us with a steady climb 140-meter (460-ft) climb, but also with another bear sighting.
Our in-between goal was Grotto Falls, with final goal the summit of Brushy Mountain. With a drop of 7.5 meters (25 ft) Grotto Falls is not a smashing fall, its specialty however is the fact that the trail leads behind the water curtain. Like yesterday's Abrams Falls, Grotto Falls is a public's favorite, so the huge crowds with coolers and pick nick gear were once again abundantly present.
We quickly headed on, steadily ascending to an elevation of 1490 meters (4889 ft), a total ascent of about 610 meters (2000 ft). Near the summit the trail got a similar shape as the Graggy Gardens that I visited two days ago, see here. It was once again like walking in a tunnel surrounded by rhododendron bushes, stems, and flowers making way for some dramatic views at the summit. No circuit trip today, we had to go down the way we came up, finding Grotto Falls a lot quieter.
Back at the car we continued on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail which gave us some more abandoned structures and a beautiful waterfall.
More pictures below!